Sometimes this job can really break your heart

  1. I am now working in a wonderful LTC facility, that is in a rural area, with a caring supportive staff. (I know, pinch me I MUST be dreaming) Free meals, and health insurance for both full and part time workers. What hurts you ask? One of the residents is my 1st grade teacher. She is a resident there. She has Alzheimer's, and it is killing me. I mean talk about irony. Here's the lady that helped me through 1st grade, taught me math,writing, spelling, and here I am years later, with the roles reversed with me feeding her meds to her like a helpless child. I literally have to FORGET about the women she was, in order not to break down when I see her during my shift, and so far it's been working. But when I get home, the tears come just the same. She worked at a grade school where all of the teachers were like a family, and cared for each student like their own. I am still very close to another teacher, and my old principal. They've been thinking about seeing her, but I silently pray that they don't. Please I DON'T mean that to sound cruel, it's just that they don't see what I see on a daily basis, and I don't want them to remember this brilliant, kind, woman like this. Oh God, sometimes this job really breaks your heart. But it's still the best job there is. All nurses are heroes in my eyes. God bless you all.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   warrior woman
    Does it ever get any easier?
  4. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from warrior woman
    One of the residents is my 1st grade teacher. She is a resident there. She has Alzheimer's, and it is killing me.
    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{WW}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    I ran into that sometimes too - it is very hard seeing someone you know, who once was a role model, become helpless. Thank God we can be there for them.

    I imagine it is a lot like having to care for aged parents, only not even as difficult!

    Love you WW - feel honored you have been placed in such a position of honor and trust!

    xo
  5. by   warrior woman
    Quote from zoeboboey
    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{WW}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    I ran into that sometimes too - it is very hard seeing someone you know, who once was a role model, become helpless. Thank God we can be there for them.

    I imagine it is a lot like having to care for aged parents, only not even as difficult!

    Love you WW - feel honored you have been placed in such a position of honor and trust!

    xo
    Love you too Zoegirl. And thanks. Again.
  6. by   leslie :-D
    theresa,

    hi sweetie....you're not being cruel- you are merely trying to preserve her dignity. yes it really is quite humbling when you read the hx's of many of these alzheimer pts.....professors of elite colleges, social workers, a million nurses.. :chuckle ,(i kid you not); it's very disheartening to watch the brain deteriorate to the levels it does. in some ways, i find alzheimers more devastating than cancer, as it is a long drawn out process for the family; a slow, malingering death. so yeah, i do understand why you want to protect your pt. wish nurses were all like you.

    leslie xoxo
  7. by   warrior woman
    Thank you Leslie. So very much. I needed that.
  8. by   VickyRN
    Quote from earle58
    i find alzheimers more devastating than cancer, as it is a long drawn out process for the family; a slow, malingering death....

    leslie xoxo
    I totally agree. IMHO, there is no worse disease process on earth.
  9. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from VickyRN
    I totally agree. IMHO, there is no worse disease process on earth.

    Vicky, thanks for the quote:

    ON BEING A CHAMPION by Mattie J.T. Stepanek

    A Champion is a winner, A Hero..... Someone who never gives up Even when the going gets rough. A Champion is a member of A winning team.... Someone who overcomes challenges Even when it requires creative solutions. A Champion is an optimist, A Hopeful Spirit.... Someone who plays the game, Even when the game is called life. There can be a champion in each of us, If we live as a winner, If we live as a member of the team, IF we live with a hopeful spirit, For Life.

    Now why does the name sound familiar?
  10. by   Maine Critical Care
    When this job STOPS being able to break my heart, I will quit. If I can't let people in for painful stuff, then they can't get in for good stuff either. Being able to have your heart broken and acting on someone elses behalf anyway is the magic in nursing.
  11. by   Logan
    Hi,

    Quote from Maine Critical Care
    If I can't let people in for painful stuff, then they can't get in for good stuff either.
    Excellent point!

    Everytime I tell my wife about a heartbreaking story about work, she hugs me and says "Congradulations Mr. Professional... you're still a human being!"

    Every once in a while though, I stop by and have a "chat" with my therapist (someone I've been seeing for donkey's years now) about work issues.


    I hope I never become "innured" to suffering.

    Thanks,
    Matthew

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